Bowling Green opens its new roundabout at University Drive and the 31W Bypass
For months, crews with heavy construction equipment have been busily converting a busy Bowling Green intersection from one controlled by traffic lights to a roundabout.
“It’s been a little chaos, but we’ve managed,” said Betty Kirby who lives in the neighborhood.
“But this whole week, we haven’t gotten any U.S. Mail and I really didn’t think that was necessary to stop the mail. We got here, so I don’t know why they didn’t bring the mail. I guess it’ll get here next week,” she said.
Kirby says the roundabout should help relieve congestion in the intersection as long as drivers “watch what they’re doing – which they don’t a lot of times.”
The roundabout at the intersection of University Boulevard, the 31-W Bypass and Loving Way was officially unveiled Friday morning with a ribbon- cutting ceremony. Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon was among the state, county and city officials who attended.
“I think this is an extraordinary advantage to moving traffic safely and continuously through this tremendously active roadway. This intersection is very important to getting people to and from work and home safely,” said Buchanon.
Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson says that while it feels like "slogging through mud", the area economy is slowly starting to turn around.
However, Wilkerson told WKU Public Radio the city is still subject to manufacturing job losses that can have a big impact on its labor force.
"In a community our size, when something like Eagle Industries shuts down and puts 275 people out of work, we feel that hit. Fruit of the Loom has decided to reduce its workforce by close to 100 this year, and those are 100 good-paying jobs that are very meaningful to our economy. So when they're gone, we notice it," Wilkerson said.
Recent data compiled by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet show the Bowling Green Metropolitan Statistical Area with a seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate of 7.5 percent for the month of July, which is two-tenths of a percentage point below the national jobless figure.